Glenwood Arts council to present new free summer concerts

John Stroud
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Summertime in Two Rivers Park will continue to be filled with music even after Summer of Jazz ends its 25-year run Wednesday, thanks to the Glenwood Springs Arts Council board, which voted Monday night to take over the Wednesday concert series beginning in 2011.

“This is something we’ve been planning since April, it just took us a while to get all our ducks in row,” said Christina Brusig, assistant program director at the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts.

“Jazz has been such a staple in this community for years, and we were not going to let that tradition die,” she said. “Cheers to the Noones for 25 years of inspiration, and a toast to the Center for the Arts for allowing the tradition to live on.”

Bob and Mary Noone have been organizing the Glenwood Summer of Jazz series for the past 25 years, and announced at the beginning of this season that it would be their last.

While the new Center for the Arts series will continue to include jazz music, Brusig said the plan is to also include other genres, such as bluegrass, folk, reggae and country. In addition, they hope to attract more food and arts vendors to be on site during the concerts, she said.

“We will be using local, regional and statewide opening acts, paired with popular headliners that will be hand-picked by the talent committee,” Brusig said. “And the concerts will always be free.”

For now, the new series is being called “Music in the Park 2011,” although that could change as the arts council’s newly appointed music committee begins working on lining up talent, sponsors and potentially some other big-name partners, Center for the Arts Executive Director Gayle Mortell said.

“We have been talking to Jazz Aspen Snowmass and others, but are still in negotiations,” she said. “Collaborations always help a program become better.”

Among the partners so far is Glenwood Springs radio station KMTS. The arts council is also looking for a director to take over the new series.

“It’s a real natural thing for us to pick this up,” Mortell said. “We already do concerts in the winter, and we feel like we’re the best candidates to pick up and run with it.”

The first season of the new series will include six concerts beginning June 29 through Aug. 3, 2011. This season’s Summer of Jazz also included six shows, but that was scaled back from eight concerts in previous years due to financial constraints.

“Music in the mountains is practically synonymous with skiing in the mountains.” Mortell added. “Every community needs a gathering place to enjoy each other, applaud the talents of friends and neighbors, and be entertained.

“Two Rivers Park on Wednesday evenings is just such a place,” she said. “Bob and Mary Noone have given 25 years of tender loving care to the Summer of Jazz, and even though it won’t be the same, we will give this new series of music in the mountains the tradition of excellence the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts has always provided.”

Mortell said there was little question about sticking with Wednesday nights for the new series.

“We wanted to continue that tradition, because people are used to going to the park on that night and make plans around it,” she said.

To find out more information about plans for the new series and to get involved as a sponsor or volunteer, call the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts at (970) 945-2414.


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